BMW 4 Series coupe review
Our Rating


BMW 4 Series coupe review

A two-door coupe based on the underpinnings of the 3-Series available in Coupe, Gran Coupe and Convertible body styles.

The story began in the autumn of 2013, when BMW came up with a replacement for the previous 3-Series Coupe and gave it a slightly different name. The number of body styles has since trebled: there is now a convertible, and a Gran Coupe with five doors and extra room for rear passengers and luggage.

That's already quite a list of choices for what might be considered a niche model, and the wide variety of powertrains and trim levels broadens the range still further. It would be going too far to suggest that there's a 4-Series for everyone, but having both the very powerful M4 and several diesels with official fuel economy on the high side of 60mpg is impressive.


The M4 is the outstanding model here. Available as a Coupe and a Convertible (but not a Gran Coupe), it has a 425bhp three-litre engine and a 0-62mph time of well under five seconds - more precisely, 4.3 if it has a solid roof and 4.6 if it has a folding one.

But even with just 141bhp (418d), and certainly with 181bhp (420d), it's far from sluggish, and there's a case for saying that the handling of the lesser models overcomes any power deficit.

Versions with xDrive in their names are driven through all four wheels, and you may want the extra security that this provides.

Ride and Handling

The more exotic engines sound wonderful, but the four-cylinder diesels are surprisingly noisy.

Some 4s look better than they drive. The UK media launch of the Coupe was held on sublime roads in the north of Scotland, and neither the 420d nor the 435i felt quite as in-tune with their surroundings as we'd hoped they would. The lighter engine of the latter helps, and oddly enough models on low-profile tyres and sports suspension seems to ride better than one with a more standard set-up, but in our experience every version of the 4-Series feels as if it has a high centre of gravity - which is ironic, because BMW makes a point of saying that it actually has a very low one. Engines notes make a big difference to the driving experience. The more exotic engines sound wonderful, but the four-cylinder diesels are surprisingly noisy and unrefined.

Interior and Equipment

In previous years it would have been called a 3-Series. The reason it isn't is that BMW recently decided to give its sportier models even-numbered titles. See also: X5 and X6.

Despite BMW's fondness for creating extensive lists of extra-cost options, even the most basic 4-Series is well equipped, with DAB digital radio, leather upholstery, heated front seats, xenon headlights, front and rear parking sensors, appropriate levels of connectivity and the useful but still complicated iDrive control system. Practicality depends very much on which body shape you've chosen. The Convertible doesn't have much of this, and wouldn't be expected to. The Gran Coupe is the pick of the bunch here, with the greatest amount of headroom for rear passengers and a seats-up luggage capacity of 480 litres, compared with 445 for the Coupe and 220 for the Convertible. BMW interior design is sober, and its appeal depends on what colours are used. Lighter ones work well enough, whereas an all-black colour scheme makes the cabin look dull.


Some of the diesels have official combined fuel economy of over 60mpg.

If you choose carefully you could end up running a 4-Series quite cheaply. Some of the diesels have official combined fuel economy of over 60mpg, and it's not too difficult to achieve this in real life, though an actual figure in the mid 50s is more likely. Versions with CO2 ratings below 120g/km (and there are some) cost just £20 per year to tax. CO2 emissions for the M4s exceed 200g/km, and their fuel economy figures in the low 30s are probably not going to be matched by anyone. But since they cost more than £56,000 we doubt that many owners will be unduly concerned by this.

Our Verdict

In all three forms, the 4-Series is stylish and provides that typical BMW feel-good factor. Whether you want tremendous performance or impressive fuel economy, there's a car here for you, and up to a point you can have as much practicality as you want or as little as you need. And if you want this car in saloon or estate form, you can. Just buy a 3-Series and there you are.